1. Wall Street’s volatility index was sent soaring today on news that Mercedes-Benz would change the name of its Smart car division to “Smarting.” “We decided to do it in honor of Roger Penske,” said Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche. “Last time I saw the guy, wow, his face was still red.”
2. European investors today reacted cautiously to news that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne had replaced his trademark pullover sweater with a Brunello Cucinelli leather jacket costing $ 4385. “No one wants to see Italy default on its EU obligations,” said former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, “but you can’t even sell those jackets on eBay.”
3. In a development described as “potentially huge,” Fiat announced that the much-heralded return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S. market has been postponed until 2099. “I know Fiat dealers will be disappointed,” said a company spokesman in Turin. “But those extra 87 years will help us nail down some of the final details. And if, by 2099, the Giulia sedan isn’t federalized to our satisfaction, we have no problem waiting a full century. Get it right, know what I mean?”
4. The Dow rose 199 points in 12 minutes this morning after former GM, Chrysler, Ford, and Lotus executive Bob Lutz announced that he had signed a deal to act as a consultant to 112 automotive manufacturers simultaneously, including three (Octo, Horch, and Lester Solus) that no longer exist. “Yes, it will be tough keeping track of them all,” an ebullient Lutz admitted to Wall Street analysts, “but I’ve got an alphabetical list. Acura is, like, first. And I think Zastava is last. What I want to impress upon this industry,” the silver-haired oracle continued, “is what I know about Obama, global warming, white goats, the Pope’s former girlfriend, the weird shape of those stones on Martha’s Vineyard, and the number 3328. Seriously, you think I’m the only one who sees these connections?”
5. Blue chips soared Friday on news that Formula 1 financial czar Bernie Ecclestone had, in fact, gone ahead with his much-anticipated plan of purchasing a brand-new set of wheels for his Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG. “What’s significant about this transaction,” opined Ben Bernanke, “is I’m pretty sure they’re dubs.” The Federal Reserve chairman added, “This is a job creator. Someone out there has to bolt those babies on.”
6. Markets today were mixed on news that business magnate Warren Buffett’s secretary, who is in a higher tax bracket than Buffett, would continue 11th-hour good-faith negotiations with Oklahoma City Ford salesman Hooson Furst. The secretary is attempting to buy a new Ford Focus Titanium hatch for full sticker price. “She’s a plucky gal, and I admire her desire to try to carry us to full economic recovery,” Buffett told reporters. “If the deal is signed, I’ll be interested to see what Alan [Mulally, Ford CEO and president] will do with that extra infusion of capital. I called him an hour ago and said, “Focus, Alan, focus. And I was buoyed to hear him reply, ‘Yes, it is.’ ” It is not yet known if Buffet’s secretary will purchase an extended warranty.
7. In a far-reaching announcement earlier today, members of the London Stock Exchange told industry analysts, “A Jaguar is the best car in the world, always has been, always will be, you can’t touch us, you can’t even say the name right, you Yankee wankers.” U.K. language experts report that “wanker” is a euphemism for “Justin Bieber.”
8. The S&P climbed to a three-month high before close of trading today, a gain attributed to news that former Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli, who resigned in 2009 after the automaker went bankrupt, is driving a Nissan Leaf from New York to San Francisco. “He’ll be gone nine years,” predicted Renault/Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn, who invented the idea. “Who knows, maybe he’ll make it. I gave him one of those Hilton Honors cards. By the time he hits Ohio, he’ll be scoring Hampton Inns. They serve an awesome breakfast, you know.”
9. Following brisk overnight trading, investors continued to herald the news that one of Germany’s battery-technology labs has made a breakthrough. “You know those big, bad-ass Mag-Lites that cops swing around?” asked Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner. “Turns out if you jam about 35 of those bad boys into a VW Fox, you get a range of 7900 miles. Who knew?”
10. Markets today remained mixed following a joint session of Congress in which legislators on both sides of the aisle seemed inclined to pass a bill giving all Americans the right to a 15-minute ride in Joe Biden’s Goodwood-green 1967 Corvette. The vice-president lauded the move, promising to simonize the vehicle. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was not among the bill’s supporters, however, claiming that Biden acquired the Corvette in a “shady, double-reverse Cash for Clunkers transaction.” A senior member for the House Committee on Ethics promised an investigation, then immediately resigned when it was revealed he didn’t know what “simonizing” meant.
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